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Agriculture

Call for NC farmers to apply for drought relief fund

After suffering a huge financial and production loss due to drought that hit Northern Cape, farmers can now hope for a better future.

This as the Northern Cape Department of Agriculture, Environmental Affairs, Land Reform and Rural Development has now announced it will offer grants to help livestock farmers.

The department has issued an invitation for farmers to apply for the 2020/2021 Comprehensive Agricultural Support Programme (CASP).

“The drought relief fund is a Grant Fund aimed at assisting all categories of Extensive Livestock Farmers, to purchase fodder through a voucher system, in partnership with identified Agri-businesses, who are ordinarily in the business of selling livestock fodder,” said MEC  Mase Manopole.

CASP fund on the other hand was targeting Subsistence, Smallholder and Commercial farmers. The type of support entailed on and off farm infrastructure, information and knowledge management, technical, advisory services and regulatory services.

The minimum requirements for applicants includes a valid confirmation of land tenure/ownership (title deeds, Tribal Resolution, Permission to Occupy), valid Brand Mark Certificate and a completed application form with the relevant signatures and indicating the latest livestock numbers.

Qualifying farms are those located within the drought-stricken areas of the Province as identified through the Early Warning Committee of the Department. 

Areas that will be prioritised are Namakwa District, Parts of Pixley Ka Seme District especially the Kareeberg Local Municipality and Parts of ZF Mgcawu District especially Kai Garib, Kheis and parts of Dawid Kruiper Municipality.

For CASP funding, the jury was still out if the department will meet the expectations of farmers. CASP for over a number of years, has been embroiled in non-delivery of promised projects with massive funding returned to the National Treasury kitty.

“Under CASP, the Department will provide 100% funding or support for agro business planning and marketing. There are areas that support will be provided such as farm business plan development, agro-processing business plan development, linking farmers to markets and marketing information and marketing skills development training.”

The closing dates for CASP is the 9 October and for Drought Grant Fund 15 October.

For more information, farmers are encouraged to visit http://www.agrinc.gov.za

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